The Golden Globes are a phony and fun awards ceremony. The Hollywood Foreign Press Association is basically a bunch of folks who want to hang out with celebrities and nominations can easily be purchased. That being said, the loose nature of the ceremony allows for a more relaxed atmosphere. Winners give amusing speeches, likable hosts (this year it’s Amy Poehler and Tina Fey) carry the rest of the show, and all of the stars have a good time eating and drinking during the ceremony.
So it’s a bit odd that the Golden Globes have ruled Scarlett Johansson ineligible for her astounding vocal performance in Spike Jonze‘s Her according to The Wrap. In the film, Joaquin Phoenix‘s character falls in love with his computer’s A.I. operating system, who is voiced by Johansson. It’s a unique and memorable performance, but the Golden Globes apparently believe she has to physically be on screen to be considered, which would defeat one of the major themes of the film. Hit the jump for more of my thoughts on the matter.
Hollywood is stubborn, but the HFPA isn’t really part of Hollywood despite their name. They’re 93 writers from publications “including newspapers and magazines in Europe, Asia, Australia, and Central and South America.” [Wikipedia] So they have the freedom to make unusual choices, especially since they really don’t have any affect on Oscar voting. At best, it’s a very loose prognosticator.
But the HFPA’s conservatism all but sinks even the slightest hint of Oscar consideration for Johansson’s performance. I applaud Warner Bros. for submitting her name, and even though she’s really the co-lead, they put her in the Best Supporting category to give her a better shot. Sadly, the Academy is notoriously close-minded. Andy Serkis deserved nominations for both The Two Towers and Rise of the Planet of the Apes, but the concept of digital makeup was too baffling for voters to understand. Johansson was an even longer shot, but still one worth taking.
I suppose one could make the argument that if they let in Johansson then why not consider voice actors from animated movies, to which I can only say is, “Use your brain.” I find it incomprehensible as to why Academy members won’t simply vote their consciences. The Oscars are a mostly meaningless, self-congratulatory affair, so why does everything have to be so damned difficult?
Here’s the question I put to Academy voters: Were you moved by Johansson’s voice and did you appreciate her contribution to the overall picture? If the answer is yes, then vote for it. If not, then vote no. Nothing else should enter into the consideration, and I’m surprised that the Hollywood Foreign Press Association are too scared to even let their small pool of voters have the opportunity to consider her remarkable work.